My brother and I, along with our double first cousins, had the privilege and pleasure of spending our summers at MaMa's summer home. Many of the best and most vivid memories of my childhood come from those summers. MaMa was the matriarch of the house and one of the duties of the matriarch was to plan and do most of the cooking. Well into her 90's you could find MaMa at home in the hot kitchen of March Inn.
Peaches are among my favorite summer foods and MaMa would go at least weekly to the "little girl" to buy peaches and tomatoes. She would then make scrumptious peach cobbler. For those of you who know anything about southern peach cobbler you know that it is very sweet in its own right. It doesn't need a topping to make it any sweeter. Well in MaMa's eyes cobbler wasn't complete unless ladened with what she called "hard sauce". Hard sauce was a delectable combination of softened butter and confection sugar with a dash of vanilla. This combination was put back into the refrigerator to harden and then spooned onto hot out of the oven fruit cobbler. I think I truly liked the hard sauce even better than the cobbler.
So what's the point? Well about a month ago a couple came over for dinner with their precious little one, and she brought a yummy strawberry shortcake. Mind you it was different than any strawberry shortcake I had ever had, but I loved it. There was a familiar taste that I craved, but I couldn't quite put my finger on why. I asked my friend for the recipe and prepared it the following weekend. The familiar taste that I loved so as a child was the combination of butter and confection sugar - uncooked mind you. Here is the recipe:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup soft butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups strawberries (or other fruit)
1 cup whipping cream lightly sweetened
Press crumbs in a 11x7x2 pan. Cream butter and gradually add sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat until fluffy but do not overbeat. Spread over graham crackers. Place strawberries on top. Whip cream and lightly sweeten. Spoon over berries. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
You might want to try it before summer completely slips into fall. Will try to post other promised recipes soon!